Hungry? Nutritious Tip — Try the Apple Test!

When attempting to make healthy choices, many times people feel challenged when they begin to feel hungry.

If you feel hungry:

  1. Drink an 8-16 ounce glass of water and wait 20 minutes.
  2. If you are still hungry after the 20 minutes, grab an apple.
  3. Look at the apple, study the apple… Do you want to eat the apple?
  4. If the answer is YES! GREAT eat the healthy, organic apple.
  5. If the answer is NO! You are not really hungry.  Go back to what you were doing before your subconscious distracted you. Smile Apple Test HealthyGreaseMonkey

Many times, we mistake thirst for hunger. 

Step 1 allows us to assess whether we are really hungry or if we were actually thirsty.

Step 2 then addresses the issue of mindless eating, that so many suffer from.  When we take the time to look at the food, think about the food, assess our actual state of hunger…

I may find that I was not hungry at all, just had a rogue thought or a bad habit that was trying to rear its ugly head!


For more information or helpful tips & personal coaching, feel free to contact me.

Easy Way to Add some Steps to your Day!

I talk with so many people who are SO busy.  Common things I hear are:  I’m too busy to work out. I don’t have time for a gym. I’ve got my children with me all the time… and many more. Cropped walkers By looking for little ways to add additional movement to our day, by making choices to add a couple steps here or there, we can significantly improve our health, increase our energy levels, and even reduce our waist size. Today, I am sharing a short video on one way I have increased my daily movement.  Its simple, its convenient, and I can even do it with my 7 year old in tow.  Smile

 I have no idea why the system won’t put my video here… so here’s the link.

I don’t think my camera phone liked the fog???

This is something I have implemented with my daughter and we do it frequently.  It also cuts WAY back on my stress level when trying to find the “closest” parking spot available! Make it a GREAT day! For more ideas or information, please feel free to contact me!

A Magical Exercise that can be Done Anywhere.

So many people frequently tell me they Don’t have Time to work out, their schedule is just so full.  People work many hours, several jobs, have kids activities to attend… so an exercise that they can do anywhere would be very helpful!  Enter stretching AND THE SQUAT!

Last year, at one of our Feel Good Fast Support Group meeting, we heard from Dr. Christopher Green, of the Chiropractic Care and Rehab Center in Estero, Florida, about movement and the importance of movement in daily life.

Dr. Green shared stretches with us and a simple exercise that can be done anywhere to assist with and allow continued mobility in most anyone.  He explained how he believes the perfect exercise is running, (I’m still walking.) and a close follow-up is the squat.

So, here is how Dr. Green explained the proper technique to the squat. (50 per day is idea – you don’t have to do them all at once) You can do these, literally anywhere. These are beginner squats – as you become more comfortable, stronger and balanced, you can do these squats without a chair!

Begin by sitting in a chair, then sit up straight and stand up. (Do NOT lean forward to stand up, just stand straight up.)Congratulations, you are half done!


Next, hold your hands out in front of you and look up! (This helps you keep your head back and your back straight) And sit back down, gently and controlled.


You have successfully completed 1 squat!  Now only 49 more to go. Smile  (Start off small – maybe 25 a day – 5 at a time, 5 times throughout the day.  Then begin to work up to that magical number of 50)


Yes, I AM holding a magic wand from the movie FROZEN.  It was a stipulation for my amazing photographer, CLB.  If I would hold the wand in my hand during the shots, she would capture them for me.  You have to compromise sometimes to work with the best!  (She is after all… almost 7)

This amazing exercise is GREAT for your core, AND to assist in bladder control as well.  (Just a handy little side note for you.)

For more information on simple exercises to make a big impact on your health or for personal coaching, please, feel free to contact me!

Gluten Free Success Story–Guest Blog by Jess

With so many having issues with gluten these days, it is getting easier to find gluten free options.  I have many clients who ARE gluten free due to intolerance issues, and feel as if the “task at hand” is just too daunting for them.

I wanted to share a school mate’s journey over this past year as HOPE to those of you just embarking on the path as means of inspiration. I will attach a link for information regarding a Living Gluten & Wheat Free-First Steps Teleconference to be held monthly at the end of this blog.  Enjoy!


1 Year Gluten Free!

One year ago today, if you told me I would be where I am today, I would have thought you were crazy. February 10, 2013 began my gluten free journey; one that I thought there was no way I could survive. But when you feel as miserable as I did, I was willing to do whatever I had to in order to feel better again.

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My first step was to research what had gluten in it and get it out of my house. I was shocked when all I had left was half of one cabinet shelf with food on it and two things in my freezer. If I had thought it was going to be hard to cut out gluten before that, I was very overwhelmed now. It was time to restock the kitchen so I did some more research and found what I COULD eat and made a list. I started with simple things that I knew I would enjoy and started there. Trying to restock and entire kitchen in one step is not only overwhelming, but costly. Over time, I was able to replenish what was lost with gluten free options.

By the time I was at the point where gluten free was next on the list to try, I was beyond miserable. My body was trying to tell me something that I did not understand, nor wanted to hear. The thought or smell of food made me nauseous, my belly was bloated and painful to the touch, and the only thing I could stomach to eat was Cheerios (which doesn’t make sense since they are full of gluten). So what I was eating to feel better was only making it worse. I was looking for instant relief, only to find out that switching to gluten free was not a quick fix. The first week without gluten seemed to last forever but I made it to the end, yet still felt miserable. I didn’t realize it would take a couple weeks to get the bad out of my system, but I kept pressing on. And finally, day 16, I felt like a brand new person. I couldn’t remember that last time I had felt so good but it was definitely the motivation I needed to keep moving forward. How could I go back to putting that poison in my body, knowing how bad it made me feel?

My doctor had told me to eliminate gluten for 30 days then eat something that had gluten in it to see how I felt. That was going to determine if that was the issue. Well, after 30 days, I thought she was crazy. I already had my answer at day 16 so I was not about to put anything back in my body. I was just going to continue living gluten free and feeling great. If only it were that easy. Time passes and cravings happen. It began to get harder and harder to resist the gluten goodness that I once loved. So began a new group of struggles.

After a couple of months, I couldn’t resist things that I was craving. I would allow myself to eat a gluten “treat” now and then. Sometimes, I would feel fine and other times, I’d be sick before I even finished it. I’ve learned what I can and cannot put in my body through trial and error. I’m human though and sometimes, I just want what I want. However, I’ve learned in the last year there are ways to have the things that I crave but in a gluten free version.

Thankfully, gluten free items are popping up almost everywhere!!! Even in the short one year since I made the switch, it’s so much easier to go to the store (and slowly they are getting cheaper too) or to your favorite restaurant and find gluten free options. This makes it easier to still enjoy a meal out of the house without stress, something I really dreaded at first because I didn’t feel I could go out to eat with friends and still be able to eat a real meal. As time passes and the more common gluten free eating is, the easier it is to stay on track!

With such a significant change in life does not come without challenges and struggles. How could it not when so much of what we once knew, grew up loving, or craved now had to be removed? Change is hard, no matter the reasoning behind it, but nothing is impossible! Personally, I struggled with knowing what to eat, not wanting to spend time cooking, and not being able to eat my favorite foods. But knowing this was going to be my new life, I had to find ways to be successful.

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Looking back over the year, it was with the help of 3 P’s that I was able to succeed: planning, perseverance, and Pinterest. Without these three, I might be right back where I started.

Planning is crucial to most anything in life, and key to the gluten free life. This is most important from day one. I was lost when I went to the grocery store if I hadn’t planned out ahead of time what brands I could buy or what ingredients to look for. I found an application for my phone that was able to scan barcodes and tell me if there was gluten in it; this helped tremendously as reading labels can be tricky. The more I went, the easier it was to find what I could eat, rather than what I couldn’t.

Meal planning also helps me to succeed. After a long day at work, the last thing I want to think about when I get home is what I can eat. Having those decisions made ahead of time helps deter me from wanting to grab something I shouldn’t be eating. I often cook meals on the weekend and put them in the freezer for my lunches during the week or have things started for quick prep on a week night. I have a lot of room for improvement here but it’s definitely a work in progress. I’m always learning new ways to plan ahead.

The second P, perseverance, is key in any aspect in life. There are going to be days that are more challenging than others, and there have been plenty in the last year, but if I give in and eat something gluten, I try to think about what I could have done to prevent it and move forward. I could beat myself up about what I ate (sometimes my body does that for me), or I can learn from it and keep on going. I’ve learned that this is not just a sprint; it’s a marathon for a lifetime of health. I haven’t had my last slip up, but I know I will not give up; I will persevere!

And lastly, the final P, Pinterest. Where would I be without this amazing tool full of gluten free goodness? I had never used it prior to becoming gluten free but it’s been a lifesaver! We all know cookbooks can be helpful but they are usually full of more of what we don’t like versus what we do. I’d much rather go to the internet or Pinterest to find a recipe than a cookbook. Plus, we tend to have them at our fingertips more often than not. I use Pinterest the most to satisfy my cravings typically, but it is handy for crock pot meals and new ideas to add to my meal planning. My first search was for donuts, a weakness of mine, and I have since tried a couple recipes that I love. I am not sure I could have made it through the fall without all the pumpkin goodness recipes I found and tried. Birthday and holiday treats are other hot topics to search for ideas. I’ve learned too that finding these recipes to satisfy the cravings I have for foods I once thought I could not eat again has lessened my cravings for them. Knowing I can’t have something naturally makes me want it more, but now I know there are alternatives I can have, which allow me to just eat them every once in a while, as I’m not deprived.

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Looking back over the last year, I can see how far I’ve come. My health has dramatically improved and I’ve begun to see food in a new light. I spent so many years using food as comfort and enjoyment, rather than a means to fuel my body to live and be healthy. I still have much room for improvement and am constantly looking for ways to eat better. Becoming gluten free once seemed truly impossible to me, just thinking about the possibility of having to eliminate it from my life was overwhelming. However, taking the process one meal at a time, one day at a time made it much more manageable. As with anything, there will be setbacks, but that just sets me up for an opportunity to persevere and comeback! And my one final tip before I sign off, positive thinking is a POWERFUL tool! Believe you can, and you will!  ~Jess


The Living Gluten & Wheat Free – First Steps is offered the 2nd Thursday of each month as a way for those just learning to be Gluten Free to get information and strategies for success! Suzie Sunkel is an amazing woman who is an EXPERT on GLUTEN FREE!

For additional information, please feel free to contact me!

What You DON’T NEED to Get Healthy or Lose weight

Friends, our society has become very confused! We have been led to believe we must have the “latest gadget,” the “newest product,” or the “latest discovery” in order to get healthy, lose weight/inches, or both!

They LIE! You do NOT need:


  • to starve yourself
  • to run a marathon
  • to deprive yourself
  • to hurt for days
  • to be exhausted all the time
  • to beat yourself up
  • to join a gym
  • to go broke
  • to eat nasty foods
  • to take drugs
  • to do it all at once (you can’t)

You just need to know where you are now, that it is NOT too late, commit and begin to make a difference.



Advertising today says “DO THIS” “TAKE THAT” and you will immediately be thinner/happier/healthier… Remember, it isn’t a race, there is no “destination” it is a journey.


When we begin with “Where you are now, and where you want to be, then the process can begin!


I am NOT saying DON’T join a gym, I AM saying there are alternatives to paying to use someone else’s exercise equipment or even buying your own gym!


When we set up a firm foundation, strong roots, then we begin to grow healthier and our energy increases. Simple steps taken one at a time can be easy, and begin to compound and make the journey very enjoyable.


Remember, this is NOT the end of the road. It is merely the beginning of a happy journey of healthy choices, directions, and new found joy and energy!


If you are in the Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers area and are looking for a personal trainer who is interested in YOUR SUCCESS, who focuses on YOUR NEEDS, and designs a specific plan to assist you in moving that journey onto the path of improved health, increased quality of life and increased energy, contact me.  I specialize in a holistic approach to better health and in decreasing your waist size!


I would like to give a special SHOUT OUT to my friend, Chris Griffith who took all of these amazing shots and allowed me to use them in my blog! 


Perfect Sweet Potatoes–Quick and simple!

My friend, Chris Griffith of Life in Bonita Springs recently shared her recipe for the perfect potato.  I fixed it for my family and WOW!

An easy, healthy recipe to not only make the tater tasty, but I EVEN ate the skins!

Sweet Potatos

Typically, I  will bake a sweet potato in the oven, then crack off and peel off the skin. (Skins have feelings, and nutrients too.) When I finished baking these, the skins were soft and supple and tasty, so… I ATE THEM!

You won’t believe how easy this is!

You will need:

  • 2 TBLS coconut oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • sweet potatoes (works for russets and reds too)
  • 1 gallon zip lock
  • large piece of aluminum foil


  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Wash potatoes with water and a scrub brush & strain to dry
  • Place coconut oil in zip lock bag
  • put potatoes in zip lock and move around to coat in the coconut oil
  • Lay potatoes on rack to drip off extra coconut oil (OR…remove batteries from smoke detectors and turn vent fans on high prior to cooking)
  • Season lightly with course sea salt
  • Place on top rack in oven with strip of foil under potatoes to catch any additional drippings
  • Cook 45 minutes, or until tender
  • Cut into bite sized pieces and enjoy it all – skins taste amazing too!

Leftover potatoes (I make extra) can then be used to make a very tasty breakfast hash brown recipe.

Remember, Sweet Potatoes are VEGETABLES… NOT POTATOES!

Healthiest Veggie w answer